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Nov 4, 2010

Team Manager Simon Buckmaster Praises Parkalgar Circuit, Ownership

Parkalgar Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster.
WELL the season finished and as you all know by now we ended with Eugene as runner up. Eight wins out of 13 is not bad, I doubt you would ever do that again and still not win the Championship. Still enough about that as I don't want to sound like I am making excuses - people will think I have been spending too much time with Guy Martin which cannot be a good thing.

Parkalgar Honda did a great job as a team in 2010; it is just Ten kate did a slightly better one and congratulations to them. I hope they are back in 2011 to continue our great sporting rivalry - we will learn as a team and improve again for next year.

We would not have been able to have challenged for the title as we have in the past two seasons without the backing of Parkalgar (Autodromo Algarve, Portimao track) and I would like to say a massive thank you to Paulo Pinheiro and all the staff there for making us feel like part of the family.

I will be going there in the next couple of weeks to finalise our deal for 2011 and it shows what a huge commitment to motorcycle sport they all have as this will be the fourth season we have been together.

I first went there to meet Paulo Pinheiro when it was just a great big field. The work they did in such a short space of time during 2008 was unbelievable. What a lot of you most likely don't know is that a lot of the undulations were not naturally there and the whole circuit was a vision turned into reality.

It is a fantastic facility and all three WSB rounds there so far have been warmly received by the fans and teams alike. To be named as circuit of the year for 2009 went in some way to reward all the people there for their commitment and effort to put Portimao on the map as the premier venue in the country - if not the world. I mean no disrespect when i say that most people who have been to Estoril and Portimao know that Portimao is clearly the better venue for riding or spectating, it's simply no contest.

It is now the second anniversary of the track opening and this is why I am writing this column now as it brought back all the memories for me of watching it come together to be one of the best circuits in the world today. Initially Paulo invested in our race team not just as his passion, which motorsport undoubtedly is, but to help promote the track ahead of the opening in October 2008. I on behalf of all our team am proud to have been part of this and truly grateful to Paulo and all his partners for their continued support.

Next year the Portimao round will go back to being the final round of the series after being round two this year. I know all the teams and fans will welcome this and what better place to end a season than the Autodromo International Algarve - it is a real climax in venue as well as the Championship. In fact 2011 is shaping up to be the busiest and best year for the circuit yet and there are lots of exciting plans in place - it is going from strength to strength.

Personally I think the sooner the MotoGP contract with Estoril ends and it comes to Portimao the better as I am sure all the MotoGP riders will find this fantastic venue a far bigger challenge to look forward to. When this happens I for one will be there to watch another important chapter in the history of this great circuit. And I hope I will be there as the manager of a World Championship winning Parkalgar race team...